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Collegiate outreach ideas

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:19 pm
by Wartortullian
So, I'm really worried about getting a field for Fall (currently it's just us), and outreach isn't really working

So far:
- I've contacted incoming freshmen at other Colorado schools, but none of them are interested
- I've emailed activities directors at every school on the front range, but I didn't get much of a response.
- UCCS and KSU have collapsed (EDIT: KSU still exists, I just didn't have current contact info for them), and BYU isn't traveling to Fall since they're already playing EFT in Boise.
- There's a TV tournament that a lot school admins care about on the same day, so opening the field to high school teams isn't helping us as much as we thought it would.
- There aren't any large programs in other states that are willing to fly their B/C teams out (not that I'm blaming them; I knew it was a long shot).

At this point, we might have to host Fall as an intramural---this is extremely suboptimal, as I want to give our new players a chance to play an actual tournament.

What are my other options? Is there anything I can try that I haven't thought of? Has anyone ever been in a similar situation before?

Re: Collegiate outreach ideas

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:59 pm
by cchiego
In the short term, your next best bet is honors colleges, honors programs, or any kind of interdisciplinary program. Quizbowl unfortunately doesn't have a real "home" department in a university, so it would be hard to make anything happen at a departmental level unless you can find some former quizbowler as a faculty member (one particularly fascinating thing I've recently discovered is that accreditation agencies often ask departments and colleges about specific extracurriculars that they have. Things like mock trial, Model UN, and debate are always on the checklist; quizbowl is never on the list. Not surprisingly, those things on the list are prioritized.). You might ask local high school coaches to get in touch with more of their alumni. But the odds of getting an actual team together at other programs at this point will likely be slim.

In the long run, you might have to try for moonshots like proposing a TV show for CO schools, securing some kind of massive sponsorship from a local corporation, making friends with people high up in the admins or Boards of Regents, or trying to train a new generation of high schoolers across the state to be ready to assume leadership positions in college. Something like the latter is probably the one with the best hope of success in the long run, but it's more of a 5-year plan than a 5-week plan.

Sounds like you've already gone well beyond what most hosts would do. Geography is a tough thing to overcome.

Re: Collegiate outreach ideas

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:58 pm
by ezubaric
Perhaps move tournament to Sunday to get around the TV tournament issue?

Re: Collegiate outreach ideas

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:08 pm
by Wartortullian
ezubaric wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:58 pm
Perhaps move tournament to Sunday to get around the TV tournament issue?
We want to make sure we'll have enough experienced staffers, and I'm flying out to a conference that Sunday. I believe several other people have conflicts as well. We're definitely considering it, though.

Re: Collegiate outreach ideas

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:46 pm
by Wartortullian
OK, reaching out to honors colleges is actually kind of working. Let it be known that Chris Chiego is a stone cold outreach genius.

Re: Collegiate outreach ideas

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:14 pm
by Victor Prieto
One thing that worked out pretty well for us this year is to hold a tiny intramural tournament that lasted only three rounds between four teams. It wasn't at all an official event, we were just trying to simulate the upcoming novice tournament at Carnegie Mellon in a very compressed timeframe. We put out advertisements and surprisingly ended up with 25-ish new people showing up, forcing us to share buzzers on two teams. Something like that might work, whether you do it on your own campus or travel to other campuses and do it there, and that might kickstart more interest. All you need are two teams, two buzzers, two readers, and maybe scorekeepers.